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I do like that orange color variety. I’d still shoot it if it came up in the yard. We have a few acres of wetlands adjacent to our yard, but only ever see black snakes, copper heads and green tree snakes, in order of frequency. Neighbor has king snakes, but they aren’t on my side of the road, don’t know why not.
 

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As far as coloration goes, the lightness or darkness and color itself varies by location. This swamp has two colorations. The orangish of the snakes in these pictures is primary. But there are greenish/black variations in this swamp. These are the only two color variations I've come across in swamp.
10Glocks -
Much better photos of cottonmouths for close up study! Thanks!
Did you take those photos in North Carolina? If so where? I have spent a great deal of time in swamps and wetlands in the southeast, but have never seen cottonmouths that brightly marked! Very interesting coloration.
They also don't seem to be as "heavily bodied" as those I'm accustomed to seeing in E. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida.
The photos of the timber rattlers were excellent as well. About 10 years ago, we were drilling deep natural gas wells in the "Big Thicket" area of E. Texas. Timber rattlers were a constant problem and we had to be "on guard" whenever we were outside.
Thanks for photos and the zoology / biology lesson!

WYT-P
Skyhunter
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Skyhunter, so these cottonmouths are from Newport News, Virginia. There is a large population of them in the swamp end of the city park here. And the snakes in some of these photos aren't big. But this particular lake produces some of the biggest ever recorded. I've seen Cottonmouths here that were as big around as my wrist - and I have a big wrist.

Here is an extremely heavy bodied Cottonmouth. I'm guessing total lengths was over 4 feet. But that girth:



Here is another stacked series of pictures I took straight down on a small Cottonmouth. I set the pics to motion after stacking them. You can see, these snakes can hold very still, but if you look closely, you can see it breathing:

 

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the moccasins here in SC are almost black,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
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Every May they start coming out of their winter dens and gather in large numbers. Every May I go out among them to take their pictures.







These are not snakes. :D



The Timber Rattlesnake is a good representative. A lot like the cottonmouth in many respects. Even more laid back. In fact, they're pretty docile. When you come up on them in the open, sometimes they rattle, sometimes that don't. But the ones I've come across tend to "bridge" their bodies, where they lift up a section like a bridge. Here's one from northeastern North Carolina I came across doing the bridging. He never rattled. But he's peering over his back at me. They have a terrible venom. The coastal variety not only have the destructive venom, but some have a neurotoxin as well.

Thoreau never saw the swamp in D.C.---he would have changed his mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Ever been around Bald River Fall's, or Indian Boundary in TN.
No. But if it has reptiles, I'd like it
 

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Yeah, eat up with rattlesnake and copper head.The rattlesnake are kinda yellowed and like the water.
 

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Cottonmouth is the only critter I shoot (if possible) on sight.
They seem to dislike people and will go out of their way to try and bite you is my experience.
We used to have one boy sitting on a stump with a 410 when swimming in the creek because those rascals would come out of the weeds and head right at us.
I had one barely miss nailing my ankle in a parking lot of all places - he would have got me if I hadn't been wearing cowboy boots.
He was under a car at least 300 yds from the nearest water and decided as I walked by I looked like I needed a dance partner.
So we danced since he repeatedly kept striking at me and I dared not turn my back as he was about a 7 footer.
About that time a junior engineer got back from lunch and he had a hoe in his pickup. chop chop.
I leave rattlers and copperheads alone and they return the favor, but these damned things are just ornery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Many snakes including Cotton Mouths are lighter and more colorful as juveniles. And Cotton Mouths do come in different shades for sure.
When they're young, they have a bright green tail. That goes away after about a year.

Here's one I found. I took my son out to see them and we were looking around under grasses and what not and I couldn't find one. I was squatting telling my son it may be a wash that day, looked down, and this little guy was coiled on the ground between my feet. I got a few pics then moved him further away from the trail to some water.



Can you find him?

 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I hardly ever see Copperheads. In fact, I've only come across a few. Here's one I caught on a park path. Kids literally playing 30 feet away.

The Copperheads I've come across were way pissier than any Cottonmouth I've come across. And compared to Timber Rattlers, Copperheads are mad maniacs. Coppeheads strike wildly, even at shadows.



 

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Moccasins here vary in attitude. Back when I was a kid, we had a drought one summer and were running around catching fingerling fish out of all the little water holes in the woods, to stock in Dad's freshly dug fish pond. Had been catching catfish fingerlings by hand for 15 - 20 minutes in one not very big hole, when I grabbed a handful of long and scaly. Got everyone out of the hole immediately, and found a tree branch to drag the hole with. And, sure enough came out with about a 2 1/2 ft. moccasin. How no one got bit in that deal is beyond me!

Dad had one back in those days chase him up on the on flatbed. Snake submerged in the ditch, and he shot in there with the trusty .22 about where he thought he should be, and that snake came out full bore after him. Him cranking rounds out that little 1906 Winchester hard as he could go, trying to slow him down, while backing away. Literally had to get up on the truck to get away from him, and reload.

Big one back there in the picture, was not even a little happy with me on the bridge above him. He was grumpy! Without reason, I might add. All I did was stop and take his picture. Had no gun, and I sure wasn't going under the bridge and trying to beat him to death with a stick, before I knew he was grumpy, because that was one BIG moccasin. Have seen a couple over the years that were downright spooky. Seriously big specimens! As in tails were not tapered, they were round fat inch and a half in diameter, and had a half inch or so of pointy on the end. First one I was on my tractor, just out of the yard here at the house, that one didn't bother me too bad. Second one I was working, saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and saw the last foot or so of his tail slithering off in the brush entirely too close to where I had just been standing. That one bothered me a bit!
 

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Here is a picture of Ross Allen milking a rattle snake back many years ago. I went to the snake show at Silver Springs many times growing up. He was bit many times and had a lot to do with the discovery of anti venom. He build up a immunity of some sort I think but at one time would inject himself from what I read sometime back. The box he is using says Hercules Powder 50 lbs.

845810
 

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Here is a picture of Ross Allen milking a rattle snake back many years ago. I went to the snake show at Silver Springs many times growing up. He was bit many times and had a lot to do with the discovery of anti venom. He build up a immunity of some sort I think but at one time would inject himself from what I read sometime back. The box he is using says Hercules Powder 50 lbs.
When I was stationed at Ft Fisher NC I used to catch snakes for a guy named Jerry who ran a place called "The Tote 'em in Zoo" up the road in Wilmington. I met Jerry selling tropical fish.
He had massive snake pits. The reason he kept snakes was he sold the venom to the folks that use it to make anti-serum.
I used to make a tidy sum catching rattlers and cottonmouths. I only brought in two copperheads. Reason is the aforementioned wild behavior. I either had to run away or kill them they were so wild.
I had a reputation in my neighborhood made by a copperhead. My landlord, who lived across the street, called me to get a snake out from under his tree where he was trying to mow. I happened to have my Old Timer hunting knife on my hip but I was shirtless and bare footed with a noose pole to pick up the snake. I figured it was a garter snake or something. I used the pole to move the grass clump and holy moley! It was a monster copperhead and he struck as soon as I brushed him with the pole. Now picture this - I saw him coiled and ready and I KNEW he was going to strike. I jumped straight up with my legs out to the side, whipped the knife out of the sheath and threw the knife lopping off it's head at the end of its strike which was between my legs. I couldn't have done that on purpose had a million dollars been on the table.
I picked up the snake (yes I was shaking from adrenaline) and it was a 7 footer. My landlord looked at me and asked "you do this often?".
After that the neighbors called me "Jungle Jon". lol.
 
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Cotton mouths never got a free pass in our neck of the woods. Picture taken circa1978.
 

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You take really beautiful photographs, but me thinks ye must be insane!
 
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I hardly ever see Copperheads. In fact, I've only come across a few. Here's one I caught on a park path. Kids literally playing 30 feet away.

The Copperheads I've come across were way pissier than any Cottonmouth I've come across. And compared to Timber Rattlers, Copperheads are mad maniacs. Coppeheads strike wildly, even at shadows.



The saving grace is that their venom is not as potent as a cottonmouth or a rattler, or so I've been told.
 
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